A pair of Jacksonville child care centers are part of a state pilot program aimed at improving quality care standards in rural areas.
The Illinois Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development (GOECD) announced the new pilot program today that will provide 35 centers with $3.8 million in funding each year.
According to the announcement, the program is in partnership with the Illinois Department of Human Services and will allow the centers to hire additional staff or increase the salaries of existing staff. Funding is provided by both state and federal funds.
Educational Child Care Center, and Presbyterian Church Day Care Center both located in Jacksonville are included in the pilot program.
Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development Dr. Jamilah R. Jor’dan says this pilot gives the opportunity to test a new approach to child care quality that can be evaluated based on both the data and evidence.
Officials with the GOECD say that, unlike other programs which reward child care providers already meeting quality of care standards, this pilot program facilitates grants to child care centers in need of additional support to increase the quality of care.
Participating centers will be reviewed using ExceleRate Illinois, the state’s quality and rating improvement system for child care providers. Pilot funding is allocated per classroom and is provided to centers up-front for salary and staffing improvements centers need to meet standards beyond the basic licensing requirements.
Pilot participants are working towards the implementation of ExceleRate Illinois’ standards for Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI).